By Karen Levy
A few days ago, I, along with thousands of other Atlanta residents, was told that my water is not safe to drink. The Atlanta Department of Watershed issued a citywide boil water advisory due to a malfunction in the Hemphill Water Treatment plant.
Suddenly the rest of the city was joining me in thinking about their access to safe water, which is how I spend my days as an associate professor of environmental health at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. Usually my focus is on conditions in the developing world, but this time the concerns were in my backyard.
Unfortunately, after the boil water advisory is lifted, many people will have lost faith in their tap water, and will continue to purchase bottled water indefinitely. This has far-reaching consequences.
While counterintuitive, and probably not your first thought when we are under a citywide boil water advisory, buying bottled water will in fact reduce our collective access to safe water.
There are several reasons for this ………read more
Karen Levy, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.